Addiction: The Toll it Takes on Families
Addiction wreaks havoc on everyone around it. When someone is struggling with abuse of drugs or alcohol, the countless physical, mental, and social effects of their addiction are apparent. Less recognized, however, is the toll addiction takes on the families of those caught in its grasp. Whether the abuser is a young adult or the head of household, there are numerous ways that a loved one’s addiction impacts the lives of their family.
Financial Instability: “Money problems” are one of the most stressful issues a family can face. Addiction often causes users to steal money, jewelry, or other items from family members in an effort to support their growing habit. Additionally, if the addict is a provider for the family, they may have difficulty holding down a steady job or income. Addiction also leads to further expenses from treatment facilities, hospital bills, and possible legal fees.
Erratic Behavior: Drugs and alcohol are mind-altering substances. Often while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, addicts will act out in ways that they otherwise would not. Erratic behavior, including verbal and physical violence, is unfortunately very common. This type of behavior is damaging to the family and places a strain on all involved.
Emotional Distress: Constantly worrying about a loved one struggling with addiction takes its own toll on families. Not knowing how to help, where their loved one is, or how they will be each day is difficult. Combine this extreme anxiety with financial stress or violent behavior as listed above, and you are looking at a heavy emotional burden. Extended periods of stress can result in other physical and mental symptoms.
Damaged Relationships: Addiction can be extremely damaging to relationships, especially within families where bonds are deeply rooted. When someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may begin to neglect those who are close to them. They may even purposely push loved ones away out of guilt over their addiction. Dealing with addiction is not easy, and these strained relationships are often one of the many consequences.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the passionate team at A New Start, Inc. can help. Our Family Program provides support, education, and guidance throughout the entire treatment program, for families whether located near our facility or across the country. We offer family therapy as part of our Intensive Outpatient Program to help those affected by addiction to repair and mend together as a family unit. To learn more about treatment with A New Start, Inc. please call 1-844-TALK-ANS.